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The beamline ANATOMIX (Advanced Nanotomography and Imaging with coherent X rays) works at photon energies between 5 and 50 keV. It is dedicated to full-field radiography and tomography in absorption and phase contrast, with pixel sizes from 20 nm to 20 µm.

Three photographs taken during beamtime on ANATOMIX

ANATOMIX is now open to users. Contact us for details!label nanoimagesX

Construction and operation of the beamline are largely funded by the French State through the project NanoimagesX in the EQUIPEX program within the framework "Investissements d'avenir" of the French National Research Agency (ANR).


Photo of the extension building housing beamlines ANATOMIX and NANOSCOPIUMANATOMIX is a beamline for X-ray tomography on the micro- and nanoscale, in absorption and phase contrast. It operates in the energy range from 5 keV upward and allows its users to obtain two- and three-dimensional radiographic images of bulk volume samples of macroscopic size (up to several cm thickness). For smaller samples, a spatial resolution down to 100 nm (30 nm pixel size) will be available. Real-time studies will be possible at speeds of up to one microtomography scan per second.

A sample interface designed to be as flexible as possible will enable in situ and/or in operando studies under conditions similar to the natural or working environment of the samples (temperature, humidity, mechanical load, transport processes). Biological samples can be measured without dehydration and, in many cases, without chemical fixation.


Experimental techniques on ANATOMIX

Two classes of radiographic methods will be available: parallel-beam microimaging and transmission X-ray microscopy.

Schematic of parallel-beam X-ray microimaging Schematic of transmission X-ray microscopy
  • Photon energies from 10 to 50 keV
    (up to approx. 25 keV with monochromatic beam)
  • Beam size up to 40 mm width
  • Resolution down to approx. 1 µm (pixel size 0.3 µm)
  • Absorption contrast (operational)
  • Inline phase contrast (operational)
  • X-ray grating interferometry (planned)
  • Photon energy 10 keV: operational (AP24)
  • Other photon energies from 5 to 20 keV under test
  • X-ray image magnification via zone-plate X-ray lenses
  • Resolution down to 100 nm (pixel size 30 nm)
  • Field of view ≈ (40 µm)2
  • Absorption contrast
  • Zernike phase contrast
Examples: Parallel-beam microtomography
Grayscale image with three smaller insets showing details[+]

Microtomography with a wide beam: Axial tomographic slice of a chicken tibia. Taken with a white X-ray beam of peak energy 20 keV, pixel size 9.3 µm. Details: (a) soft tissue; (b,c) trabecular bone. 1000 projections, exposure time per projection 0.06 s. From [1].

Grayscale image with smaller inset showing a detail[+]

High-resolution phase-contrast microtomography: Axial tomographic slice of a piece of stem from a hemp plant. White beam, peak energy 10 keV, pixel size 0.65 µm, detector–sample distance 12 mm. 1500 projections, scan duration 5 minutes. Sample: J. Beaugrand, INRA, Nantes. From [1].

[1] T. Weitkamp et al., "Progress in microtomography at the ANATOMIX beamline of Synchrotron Soleil", Microscopy and Microanalysis vol. 24 suppl. 2 (2018) 244–245, doi:10.1017/S1431927618013570.
Examples: Transmission X-ray microscopy
Grayscale image with smaller inset showing a detail[+] A preliminary TXM resolution test. Detail of one of the first TXM test micrographs taken on ANATOMIX, showing a reference chart with smallest widths of lines and spaces of 50 nm (center of inset). Image recorded using a "pink beam", i.e., a white beam from which one undulator harmonic (10 keV) is singled out by combination of attenuation filters and total external reflection on the beamline mirror. From [2].
Grayscale image representing a sagittal tomography slice, with scale bar; area approx. 45 microns diameter[+] One of the first TXM tomography images from ANATOMIX: Sagittal slice of local tomography on a shale-rock sample with pyrite inclusions (light gray). Data taken with a pink undulator beam, central photon energy 10 keV. The effective pixel size was 49 nm; the resolution is estimated to 250 nm. The projection images were not realigned prior to tomographic reconstruction. The sample had a diameter of 160 µm. Sample courtesy of "Multiscale Materials Science for Energy and Environment" (MSE²), a joint laboratory of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Aix-Marseille University (AMU). From [2].
[2] M. Scheel et al., "Toward hard X-ray transmission microscopy at the ANATOMIX beamline of Synchrotron Soleil", Microscopy and Microanalysis vol. 24 suppl. 2 (2018) 246–247, doi:10.1017/10.1017/S1431927618013582.

See also



Want to perform an experiment on ANATOMIX? Or find out whether the beamline might be suited for your project? The ANATOMIX beamline scientists are happy to answer your questions and give advice:

Timm Weitkamp +33 (0)1 69 35 81 37
Mario Scheel +33 (0)1 69 35 96 31
Jonathan Perrin +33 (0)1 69 35 94 99

Telephone numbers of beamline rooms

Beamline control room near optics hutches +33 (0)1 69 35 97 31
Beamline control room experiments
Experiment hutch EH3 +33 (0)1 69 35 97 82
Experiment hutch EH4
Meeting and data analysis room +33 (0)1 69 35 97 71
Preparation laboratory
Workshop +33 (0)1 69 35 99 80


DANIEL Guillaume
Assistant Ingénieur de Ligne De Lumière
PERRIN Jonathan
Scientifique de Ligne De Lumière
Scientifique de Ligne De Lumière
Responsable Ligne De Lumière


Click here to access the SOLEIL employment web page 

Technical data

Experimental techniques

Parallel-beam full-field microtomography
- Absorption contrast
- Inline phase contrast
- X-ray grating interferometry (planned)
Nanotomography via full-field zone-plate microscopy (= transmission X-ray microscopy, TXM)
- Absorption contrast
- Zernike phase contrast

Energy range

- Between 5 and 50 keV (white beam)
- Up to approximately 25 keV (monochromatic)
- 10 keV monochromatic (operational)
- Other energies in the range from 5 to 20 keV under test

Beam size at sample

- From around 0.3 mm × 0.3 mm to 40 mm (H) × 15 mm (V)
- Approximately 0.04 mm × 0.04 mm

Beam modes / energy resolution

- Filtered white beam
- Double crystal monochromator Si-111: ΔE/E = 10-4
- Double multilayer monochromator: ΔE/E = 10-2 (planned 2019)

- Double crystal monochromator Si-111: ΔE/E = 10-4


U18 cryogenic in-vacuum undulator

X-ray optics

Entrance aperture: Diaphragm 2.5 mm × 2.0 mm (H×V), 22.7 m from source.
Horizontal "coherence" slit, 23.2 m from source.
Primary slits, 26 m from source.
Double mirror (removable), horizontal reflection, horizontally focusing, f=3.5 m, 35.5 m from source.
Refractive lenses for collimation (removable), 38 m from source (planned).
Secondary horizontal source slit (for use with mirror), 39 m from source.
Double crystal monochromator (Si-111, removable), vertical deflection, 50 m from source.
Double multilayer monochromator (removable), vertical deflection, 53 m from source (planned 2019).


All detectors are indirect, lens-coupled systems: the X-ray image is converted into a visible-light image by a scintillator, then projected onto a digital pixel sensor by visible-light lens optics. The effective pixel size is the sensor pixel size divided by the magnification factor of the detector optics.

Detector optics:

Available magnifications: ×1, ×5, ×10, ×20
Other magnification values from ×0.5 to ×50 planned or under test


Model Orca Flash 4.0 V2 pco.4000 Dimax HS4
Manufacturer Hamamatsu PCO PCO
Model Orca Flash 4.0 V2 pco.4000 Dimax HS4
Manufacturer Hamamatsu PCO PCO
Sensor type CMOS CCD CMOS
Sensor array size 2048×2048 4008×2672 2000×2000
Sensor pixel size 6.5 µm 9.0 µm 11.0 µm
Max. frame rate(a) 20 fps(b) 5 fps 2277 fps(c)
Exposure time per frame 40 µs to 10 s 5 µs to days 1 µs to 40 ms
Frame buffer size ≈1 TB(d) ≈1 TB(d) 36 GB(e)
ADC bit depth 16 bit 14 bit 12 bit
Max. SNR 37000 5500 1600
Peak quantum efficiency 82 % 43 % 47 %
(a)For a full, unbinned frame.
(b)Supplier specifies up to 100 fps but we encounter stability issues above 20 fps.
(c)Not yet fully tested and commissioned.
(d)Limited by hard-disk size of camera PC.
(e)Limited by camera on-board memory.

Scientific opportunities

Information accessible
  • Microstructure and morphology: 2D and 3D distribution of linear attenuation coefficient and/or X-ray refractive index (i.e., electron density)
  • Hidden structures
  • Pore networks (foams…)
  • Fiber networks
  • Subtle density differences
Functional studies
  • Fluid mechanics: percolation, blood flow, etc.
  • Growth processes
  • Failure processes (cracks…)
Application areas
  • Energy
    • Materials for nuclear fusion technology
    • Source rocks
    • Fuel cells
    • Batteries
  • Engineering
    • Hierarchically-structured materials
    • Composites
    • Microstructure of allyos: solidification, dendritic growth
  • Health and biology
    • Cancer: tumor angiogenesis
    • Bone and articular diseases
    • Tissue engineering: scaffolds etc.